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stratos201

Question For The Experts

7 posts in this topic

I have built about 2-3 dozen crankbaits now, over a couple years and I am not satisfied with the action/vibration of my lures. All the components are pretty much the same that everyone else here uses except one..... and Im using light balsa from hobby lobby. Using 0.35-0.41 SS wire..... lexan and circuit board lips from lure parts online........ createx paint..... devcon2 and dick nite (original formula .... cant believe I have been able to preserve it for this long.... going on over a 1 1/2 years)..........the belly weight is 1/8oz . Lures measure about 2-2/14 inches in length and roughly about a 1/2 inch thick give or take 1/16th or 1/8. Im wanting more action and the only thing that I can think of is the balsa. I have read past posts about using medium density balsa/hard balsa, and the response was that it makes for a "livelier" bait. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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It is not the balsa for sure, but it is difficult to help you unless you post a photograph of your bait here with your question. I checked out your gallery and everything looks good. I was going to write a lengthy discussion on tow eye position, but your tow eyes look just fine.

Try more experimenting with the tow eye. Make a test lure with an extended tow eye, sticking our about ¼”, so that you can test the extremes by bending the tow eye. This way, you find out exactly what action is available to you.

I just tested a lure using this method and found that even on a 60 degree angle lip, the best action was even lower down the lip than you have it and the lure was still stable. Try a wider, flat bottomed lip, this gives the water more area to work on and generates more power.

I noticed in your pics that the lip edges looked rounded off. Sharp edges are better. Consider a thinner material like circuit board, especially on such a small lure. A 2mm thick lexan lip adds a lot of weight/inertia which is opposing your movement. The circuit board is thinner, lighter and gives a sharper edge for the flow.

Dave

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The ballasting of the lure seems a little light. You are adding 3.5 grams, but I just calculated the volume of a similar sized lure and weighed some hardware and I get the ballast to be closer to 6 grams. Too much buoyancy may not be helping. If you have an accurate gram scale, I can walk you through a method of finding out exactly how much buoyancy your lures have. Let me know.

Dave

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Well, the OP asked for the "experts" and, as far as I'm concerned...he got what he asked for. ;)

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The ballasting of the lure seems a little light. You are adding 3.5 grams, but I just calculated the volume of a similar sized lure and weighed some hardware and I get the ballast to be closer to 6 grams. Too much buoyancy may not be helping. If you have an accurate gram scale, I can walk you through a method of finding out exactly how much buoyancy your lures have. Let me know.

Dave

Vodkaman/Dave.... thanks for your reply. Yes my lips are rounded and the lure has a tight wiggle, but not that hard thumping that I get from other custom baits that I have bought. Thats what brought me here, was tired of buying expensive custom balsa baits. Getting a scale is definitely on my list of things to do. I should add that the balsa body after being shaped and sanded, just bare wood is about 3/8 to 7/16 of an inch thick. By the time I add the top coat the lure measures approx. 1/2 thick. Your experiments that you have done, is something that Im going to have to try. I also thought that maybe I have the lip set in the lure too deep and possibly not on a steep enough of an angle. I would be interested in determining the bouyancy and using the right amount of ballast. I have also used the circuit board lips, square bills in two different sizes and also thumbnails. Im just wanting to get that hard thumping action that you get from commercial/custom baits........ I know it can be done. Thanks for all your help

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Vodkaman/Dave.... thanks for your reply. Yes my lips are rounded and the lure has a tight wiggle, but not that hard thumping that I get from other custom baits that I have bought. Thats what brought me here, was tired of buying expensive custom balsa baits. Getting a scale is definitely on my list of things to do. I should add that the balsa body after being shaped and sanded, just bare wood is about 3/8 to 7/16 of an inch thick. By the time I add the top coat the lure measures approx. 1/2 thick. Your experiments that you have done, is something that Im going to have to try. I also thought that maybe I have the lip set in the lure too deep and possibly not on a steep enough of an angle. I would be interested in determining the bouyancy and using the right amount of ballast. I have also used the circuit board lips, square bills in two different sizes and also thumbnails. Im just wanting to get that hard thumping action that you get from commercial/custom baits........ I know it can be done. Thanks for all your help

It might be useful to compare your bait to custom balsa baits that have the thump you are looking for. You don't supply a pic (which would be helpful) but there are design characteristics that tend to produce a sharp thumping action.

Flat sides, not rounded

Correct amount of ballast

Ballast forward of the lowest point of the belly

Lip angle 25-45 degrees

Line tie down on the surface of the lip.

In my experience, the shape of the lip, per se, doesn't control the amount of thump. The size, placement, and angle all count but I have shallow baits with various lip shapes that thump like hell.

I agree with Dave's comments about ballast but I assume you want a fast rising buoyant bait to fish shallow cover. My gut feeling for a balsa bait of that size is that it does need more ballast. If it's light balsa, doubling the ballast would probably still give you a fast floater, and it would cast better too. Spending $20 on a cheap digital gram scale would be a good investment if you really want to tweak the bait to perform the way you want.

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you made need to adjust your lip angle and line tie as said, but try a 4 gram belly weight you can buy from kevin at LPO. what fiber lip are you using? try the f-9 or the f-2 they should give you all the action you need with that little bait. ;)

Jeff

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